Monday, July 27, 2015

C’mon Let A Christian Marry A Non-Christian????

            What’s wrong if a Christian marries a non-christian? If they marry, would their marriage be disastrous or would their children hate Christianity?

            A foundational verse quoted in this context is “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers…” (2 Corinthians 6: 14). A common faith in Christ is at the heart of a Christian marriage, they say.

            This is the backdrop. Conventional Christian teaching mandates Christians to NOT MARRY non-christians. If a Christian marries a non-christian, by implication, their marriage would be sinful and disastrous [1].

            This is the puzzle. Should a marriage between a Christian man & woman entail a healthy marriage?

            No! A marriage between a Christian man and a woman need not necessarily entail a healthy marriage.


            Scores of non-christian marriages are healthy and successful. If non-christian marriages are successful, the condition that Christians ought to marry Christians could be discarded.

            The reality of many healthy, successful and strong non-christian marriages should remind Christians that the nametag “Christianity” does not unconsciously render a Christian marriage healthy.

            Committed religious belief, not necessarily Christianity, enables strong and successful marriages.  

            But, atheists, who deny God, also enjoy healthy marriages. So it is reasonable to conclude that committed irreligiosity does enable healthy marriages.

            Examine this situation from the perspective of divorce in Christian marriages. Scores of divorces and separations in Christian marriages testify that a Christian marriage could be disastrous.

            There are make-believe Christian marriages (that pretend as successful marriages). The husband and wife may not love each other but would merely be married for the sake of being married or may not talk to each other inside their homes. They may not share the same bed or could lead separate lives inside their home all the while posturing perfection in their marriage.

            Au contraire, Christians have married non-christians from time immemorial. Many such marriages are successful and healthy. Healthy marriages between Christians and non-christians serve as a testimony to the fact that a marriage between a Christian and a non-christian need not be disastrous.

            Therefore, isn’t a teaching that two Christians ought to marry for a healthy marriage an unacceptable teaching that is incoherent with the existential reality?

            We are not done! Observe this situation from another perspective.

            Very few Christians read their Bible daily. A recent study in America confirms that only 9% of Americans read their Bible daily [2]. This could very well be a fact in other countries as well.

            So if two Christians, who have not read their Bible or who do not love the Lord, get married, what are the chances that their marriage would be successful? Unless a conversion occurs during the marriage, their marriage should not survive according to the conventional Christian teaching. 

            But if their marriage is successful, it is not because of their religiosity. There never was any religiosity in them. Their marital success could be for the same reasons as to why marriages between atheists are successful!

            The problem would compound if one Christian partner loves the Lord dearly but the other Christian spouse is lukewarm or cold towards Christ. This is another favorable situation for potential marriage problems.

            Based on the existential realities of non-christian (atheists included) and even certain Christian marriages, a conclusion that a marriage between two Christians need not necessarily entail a healthy and successful marriage is valid.

            Therefore, the conventional Christian teaching that a Christian should marry another Christian for a healthy marriage could be rendered null and void.

            What if a sincere Christian who longs to get married cannot locate a Christian partner? What if this Christian is attracted to an opposite-sex-non-christian with admirable qualities worthy of a perfect fit as his/her soulmate? 

            What would be a sound biblical advice to this Christian? Would you advise him/her to marry the non-christian he /she is attracted to?

            “Focus on the Family,” an acclaimed Christian ministry that strives to strengthen a Christian marriage, qualify their teaching that a marriage between two Christians is more likely to be healthy through these words, “Many people who seriously practice a traditional religious faith – be it Christian or other – have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population. The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practiceCouples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudesenjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public and unbelievers

            …Saying you believe something or merely belonging to a church, unsurprisingly, does little for marriage. But the more you are involved in the actual practice of your faith in real ways – through submitting yourself to a serious body of believers, learning regularly from scripture, being in communion with God though prayer individually and with your spouse and children, and having friends and family around us who challenge us to take our marriage’s seriously – the greater difference this makes in strengthening both the quality and longevity of our marriages. Faith does matter and the leading sociologists of family and religion tell us so”[3] (Emphasis Mine).      

            Therefore, a mere marriage between two Christians is surely not a recipe for a successful marriage.

            A Christian married to a non-christian could enjoy a healthy marriage from a worldly sense, but certainly not from a spiritual sense. When a Christian marries a non-christian, it is the Christian who would love the Lord. The non-christian spouse would not love the Lord Jesus. Hence this marriage could be easily damaged or broken by the Satan (cf. Ecclesiastes 4: 12). 

            A Christian marriage ought not to achieve the ordinary worldly success other marriages achieve; it ought to achieve greater spiritual success.

            Greater spiritual success in a Christian marriage gains precedence because Satan is active against a Christian marriage. The greater spiritual success for a Christian marriage is to individually and collectively grow in the Lord so to survive storms – small and large, and significantly lead the children to continuously love the Lord. Such a Christian marriage will glorify God.  

            To achieve greater spiritual success, the Christian family should love the Lord Jesus through the assimilation of HIS Word, love and submission to their spouse as Christ loved the church and as the church submits to Christ, and communion with fellow Christians. This is a surefire recipe for a greater spiritual success in a Christian marriage.

            There is greater power in a Christian marriage when both the husband and the wife love the Lord dearly, thus obey and glorify God through the ups and downs of the marriage. When they love the Lord dearly and are in constant communion with Christ, their marriage would be unbreakable.

            Finally, the disclaimer.

            This post is not to encourage Christians to marry non-Christians. It is wise to err on the side of caution than not.

            So a Christ-loving Christian ought to marry another Christ-loving Christian to achieve the greater spiritual success.


[1] Every born-again Christian is a sinner. But he/she has been saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ. So a Christian married to a non-christian, although is a practicing sinner, will gain eternal life.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Why Believe Adam & Eve? (Defending Adam & Eve’s Existence)

            Bible reveals Adam & Eve’s existence. But did they really exist? If they did exist, how do we reason it out?

            In August 2013, Yahoo News reported the unraveling of a genetic Adam and Eve, who lived about 135,000 years ago [1]. This report was based on papers published in Science (August 2013). Genetic Adam and Eve are not to be confused with the Biblical Adam & Eve.

            Genetic Adam & Eve were supposedly two out of thousands of people with unbroken and continuing male and female lineages. On the contrary, Biblical Adam & Eve were the first ever humans created by God – our primeval ancestors.

            Minimally, Christians subscribing to Historic Christianity (because they consider the Bible as God’s infallible and inerrant word) believe in the existence of the biblical Adam & Eve [2]. Postmodern Christians consider the biblical Adam & Eve as mythological figures because they do not attribute divine inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy upon the Bible. Evolutionists and Non-Christians, with the exception of Jews and Muslims, deny the existence of Adam & Eve.

            Why is Adam & Eve’s existence germane to Christianity?

            If biblical Adam & Eve never existed, the Bible could be debunked i.e. the narrative of original sin and need for the savior - the Lord Jesus Christ - could be incorrect as well. Thus a conclusion that there is no salvation from Christ, and that Christians are merely walking in the dark could be reasonable.

            Denial of Adam & Eve’s existence could entail Christianity’s falsity through the following assertions:

            1. Science proves Adam & Eve never existed.

            2. Adam & Eve did not disobey God (because they did not exist).

            3. There was no “original sin” that was passed to us - the descendants of Adam & Eve.

            4. Jesus’ death on the cross was in vain (because there was no original sin).

            5. Bible that reveals Adam, Eve, sin and Christ is thus incorrect.

            6. Therefore, Christianity is invalid.

            Scientists denying Adam & Eve’s existence, posit humanity’s origin from a small population of individuals. This nullifies biblical notion of humanity’s origin from one man and one woman - Adam and Eve. Studies of the ancestral population size of humans based on mutation rates and independent of mutations are the dominant foundation for the denial of biblical Adam & Eve [3].

            Do not worry!

            Biochemist and Vice President of Research & Apologetics of “Reasons to Believe,” Dr. Fazale Rana refutes the conclusions of the studies denying Adam & Eve’s existence [4]:

            (1) These studies posit estimates and not hard and fast values. Therefore, do not consider estimates as concrete values.

            (2) Studies on “Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam” trace back the origin of humanity to single ancestral sequences, namely single man and single woman a.k.a Adam & Eve [5]. (Mitochondria, which contain its own DNA, are inherited only from the mother. Mitochondrial Eve is the woman who was the most recent common female ancestor of all humans. Similarly Y chromosome Adam was the most recent common male ancestor of all humans because Y chromosome is inherited only from the father.)

            (3) Those who deny Adam & Eve’s existence assume that they were genetically identical, since Eve was created from Adam. But the Bible does not support the notion that God created Adam & Eve as genetically identical humans. God could have introduced genetic differences into Eve while creating her.

            (4) The claim for humanity’s origin from a small population of individuals, in fact, supports the existence of biblical Adam & Eve i.e. Adam & Eve procreated and had many sons and daughters. These studies could well be positing the population structure of humans some time after their creation when their numbers would have been small.

            (5) As in the case of the research done on “wild mouflon sheep,” these studies could have overestimated the original numbers for the first humans. A young male and female sheep placed in Haute Island in 1957 multiplied to 700 in 1977. When mathematical models used by studies to deny Adam & Eve’s existence were applied in the instance of wild mouflon sheep, the models underestimated the genetic diversity of the population.

            “Answers in Genesis” a Christian apologetics ministry refutes the denial of the existence of Adam & Eve through [6]:

            (A) Studies on human genetic diversity are predicated on “molecular clock dating,” which is “built on series of unverifiable assumptions and circular reasoning” [7]. (Molecular clocks estimate the duration of time taken for genetic diversity to occur.)

            Molecular Geneticist Dr. Georgia Purdom states that secular evolutionary scientists agree with the fundamental uncertainty in molecular clocks. Dr. Fazale Rana claims similarly that uncertainties in molecular clock analysis are on the order of +/- 50,000 years, which is remarkably imprecise. [8]

            (B) An appeal to young earth creationism (belief in six literal 24 hour creation days and that the universe we live in was created 6000-12000 years ago) rejects a notion of large genetic variation within a very short elapsed duration of time (6000-12000 years since the origin of the universe).

            (In fact, if young earth creationism is correct, Darwinian evolution should be discarded because it is virtually impossible for evolution to occur in a short time frame as 6000-12000 years.)

            Therefore, scientists’ denial of Adam & Eve’s existence need not be trusted for it is a flawed conclusion.

            What do we learn from this attack against Christianity?

            An intellectual attack against Christianity is rampantly escalating. Churches should respond by equipping themselves with answers to these tough yet reasonable questions. Apologetics ministry should be developed in churches that subscribe to historic Christianity.

            To conclude, I submit the words of Dr. Fazale Rana, “Even though the genetic data traces humanity’s origin back to a single woman and man, evolutionary biologists are quick to assert that mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam were not the first humans. Rather, according to them, many “Eves” and “Adams” existed.7 Accordingly, mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam were the lucky ones whose genetic material just happened to survive. The genetic lines of the other first humans were lost over time.

            While this explanation is not out of the realm of possibility, it is highly contrived. It would work if only a few of the first humans reproduced, or were allowed to reproduce. If the data is simply taken at face value, the biblical model is the more parsimonious explanation.

            Even though evolutionary biologists offer ways to explain away the implications of the human population genetic data, these explanations—entrenched in naturalism—are not necessarily superior to an interpretation that fully squares with the biblical account. The scientific case for the biblical Adam and Eve stands firm.” [9]



[2] Jehovah’s witnesses, Mormons etc. also believe in Adam & Eve.


[4] Ibid.

[5] Recent studies have postulated the simultaneous existence of mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosome Adam. (William Lane Craig states, “…but recently Michael Murray, who is involved in the BioLogos movement and with the Templeton Foundation, sent me an email in which he said some recent studies have just reestimated the dates of the Mitochondrial Eve and Chromosomal Adam and they’ve determined that they were roughly contemporaneous.” -


[7] Ibid.



Monday, July 13, 2015

Miracles Are Useless If…

            Bible is replete with miracles [1]. Sincere Christians who worship the Triune God will objectively believe every recorded miracle in the Bible. Miracles are intended to glorify God, meet human needs and establish the supernatural basis of revelation.

            Sincere Christians will also affirm miracles subjectively. Every sincere Christian will subjectively assert his existence as a product of not one or two, but many a miracle. A classic spiritual example of a miracle is the born-again experience.

            Postmodern Christians, however, will arrogantly deny miracles. Consequently, they will deny that the Bible (God’s Word) is inspired by God, is error -free and absolutely trustworthy.

            Miracle, by definition, ought to appeal to God as its ultimate source. So atheists are not expected to believe in miracles. However, their beliefs in life from non-life, order from chaos, rational from non-rational are miracles in themselves. It’s just that atheists would attribute miracles to random occurrences without scientific explanation [2].

            This report is neither intended to deny miracles nor affirm its absolute uselessness. But this report will endeavor to highlight specific instances of application where miracles could be rendered useless.

1. Miracles Sustain Unbelief

            Miracles would be rendered useless if it were solely used as an evangelistic means to bring people to Christ.

            Miracles bring people to Christ. The Jews who witnessed Lazarus’ miraculous resurrection believed in Christ (John 11: 45).

            However, the Lord Jesus performed numerous miracles. Nevertheless people abandoned HIM. So miracles were either rendered useless when people did not respond with belief in Christ or miracles were not performed with a motive for people to believe in HIM.

            The 6th chapter of the gospel of John offers a remarkable insight into people’s disbelief and abandonment of the Lord. Although they were cognizant of the Lord’s miraculous feeding of the 5000 and the miraculous walking on the water, many disbelieved and abandoned HIM (John 6: 30, 66).

            This is the problem. Without adequate biblical support, miracles are posited as a vital means to evangelism by certain Christians. But there are instances of people refusing to believe in Christ even upon witnessing miracles. (An overnight change in character from bad to good need not be construed as a miracle by those who are not predisposed to believing in miracles.)  

            On the other hand, when miracle-workers fail to perform miracles, they ascribe the failure upon the audience. They could claim that their audience did not possess adequate faith in Christ for miracles to occur.

            These Christians commonly believe that miracles cannot be performed when there is no faith in people (cf. Matthew 13: 58, Mark 6: 5). This is an invalid notion.

            The sovereign God cannot be limited by man’s belief. Christ healed a faithless man who was invalid for 38 years (John 5: 1-9).

            Since not all miracles lead people to Christ, a conclusion that miracles sustain unbelief in Christ is reasonable.     

2. Miracles Deceive People

            The notion that miracles are solely meant to draw people to Christ presupposes an argument that Christians are the one and the only group who could perform miracles. This is an invalid notion.

            The Egyptian magicians imitated the miracles of Moses and Aaron to a large extent (Exodus 7). If miracles are solely meant to draw people to Christ, then the miracles performed by those in the name of their gods would deceptively draw people to their gods. If miracles lead people away from Christ, the notion that miracles should solely lead people to Christ is self-defeating.

            The fact remains that miracles could be deceptive.   

            Satan deceives people through miracles, “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing…” (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-10, NIV, Emphasis Mine).

            Therefore, miracles are useless when it deceives people and draws them away from the living God.

3. Miracles Propels Evangelists

            Quite a few evangelists / miracle-workers perform miracles to propel themselves into greater fame and power. The Bible reveals this fact.

            The Bible records Simon’s unholy eagerness to perform miracles (cf. Acts 8: 21-22). Simon probably desired to perform miracles to propel him to greater fame. The depravity of man’s heart remains the same then and now. Now quite a few evangelists use miracles to glorify themselves.

            Sadly the destinies of these people are abundantly clear. They are eternally doomed (Matthew 7: 22-23). Although the miracles these people perform could bring people to Christ, these miracles, in their own eternal context, are useless.

4. Miracles Entertain People

            Miracles do possess an entertainment value.

            Herod desired entertainment from Christ, so he hoped that the Lord would perform miracles (Luke 23: 8-9). This is the situation with quite a few people today. They look upon miracles as a means of entertainment.  This is another situation where miracles would be rendered useless.

            Furthermore, could we pray for miracles in our life today? Yes! Miracles could be a means of God’s answer to our prayers.

            How do we recognize if a miracle is from God or not? Miracles from God save man from his terrible predicament. Satan, as an agent of destruction, need not always save man from his predicament, unless ordained by God for a specific reason.

            On a rather detached tangent, what about those among us who remain idle while expecting a miracle to happen?

            This is a complex question. A universal answer is not a good choice to deal with this predicament. A suitable alternative is to examine every situation as independent of another within this context.

            As a case in point, consider a Christian who refuses to eat medicines but waits on God to perform a miracle of healing. While God can accede to this request, HE could, as a just and a sovereign being, deny this prayer request. Hence, it is upon the Christian to know the will of the Lord.

            The prayer life of a Christian should determine whether he/she waits upon the Lord for a miracle or consumes medicines, all the while knowing that medicines are also an agent of God’s healing for man.  

            So to conclude, the Bible reveals that Satan (a created being and enabled by God to perform miracles) could be a secondary source for miracles. In this instance, miracles will lead people away from Christ. So miracles need not always have God as its source (although God is the ultimate source for all miracles).

            Man could also employ his [corrupt] freewill to draw people to himself rather than God. So miracles need not always be for the sake of God’s glory.

            When a believer of Christ employs miracles for his selfish agendas, God need not necessarily confiscate the spiritual gift of miracles from him / her. The believer is responsible to use every gift for the sake of God’s glory. 

           Therefore, miracles should not be blindly believed to be as from God or as approved by God. Hence miracles ought to be perceived with utmost spiritual diligence.


[1] Dr. William Lane Craig defines miracles as extraordinary acts of providence which should not be conceived, properly speaking, as violations of the laws of nature, but as the production of events which are beyond the causal powers of the natural entities existing at the relevant time and place. (


Monday, July 6, 2015

Prophet Muhammad A Friend Of Christians? (Islam-Christianity Brotherhood)

            Should Christians and Muslims be archenemies?

            Christians have no reason whatsoever to persecute anyone; they are mandated to love their neighbors. However, Islamic State’s (ISIS) persecution of Christians has probably amplified the Islam-Christianity divide – the notion that Islam constantly endeavors to persecute Christians.

            During the few years I lived in the Kingdom of Bahrain, I was constantly thankful to God for the peaceful ambiance offered by the rulers of Bahrain to the Christians. My Christian friends living in the Arabian Peninsula would affirm this perception from their location.

            Sincere Muslims abide by Prophet Muhammad’s mandates. Hence, examining Prophet Muhammad’s attitude towards Christians is an appropriate vantage point to study the dynamics of relationship between Muslims and Christians.

            “Achtiname of Muhammad” is a letter written by Prophet Muhammad upon the request of a delegation from St. Catherine’s monastery - world’s oldest monastery located at the foot of Mt. Sinai. St. Catherine’s monastery is a treasure house of Christian history and a world heritage site that remained safe for 1400 years under Islamic protection.

            Prophet Muhammad’s letter to St. Catherine's monastery, affirmed for its historical authenticity and preserved in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, states his firm support to the Christians then and now, “This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them…

            …No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate…

            …Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).” [1]

            This is the English translation of the “Achtiname” by Anton F. Haddad:

            “This is a letter which was issued by Mohammed, Ibn Abdullah, the Messenger, the Prophet, the Faithful, who is sent to all the people as a trust on the part of God to all His creatures, that they may have no plea against God hereafter. Verily God is the Mighty, the Wise. This letter is directed to the embracers of Islam, as a covenant given to the followers of Nazarene in the East and West, the far and near, the Arabs and foreigners, the known and the unknown.

            This letter contains the oath given unto them, and he who disobeys that which is therein will be considered a disobeyer and a transgressor to that whereunto he is commanded. He will be regarded as one who has corrupted the oath of God, disbelieved His Testament, rejected His Authority, despised His Religion, and made himself deserving of His Curse, whether he is a Sultan or any other believer of Islam. Whenever monks, devotees and pilgrims gather together, whether in a mountain or valley, or den, or frequented place, or plain, or church, or in houses of worship, verily we are [at the] back of them and shall protect them, and their properties and their morals, by Myself, by My Friends and by My Assistants, for they are of My Subjects and under My Protection.

            I shall exempt them from that which may disturb them…nor the monks disturbed in exercising their religious order, or the people of seclusion be stopped from dwelling in their cells.

            No one is allowed to plunder the pilgrims, or destroy or spoil any of their churches, or houses of worship, or take any of the things contained within these houses and bring it to the houses of Islam. And he who takes away anything therefrom, will be one who has corrupted the oath of God, and, in truth, disobeyed His Messenger…for they are under My Protection and the testament of My Safety, against all things which they abhor.

            No taxes or tithes should be received from those who devote themselves to the worship of God in the mountains, or from those who cultivate the Holy Lands. No one has the right to interfere with their affairs, or bring any action against them. Verily this is for aught else and not for them; rather, in the seasons of crops, they should be given a Kadah for each Ardab of wheat (about five bushels and a half) as provision for them, and no one has the right to say to them this is too much, or ask them to pay any tax.

            As to those who possess properties, the wealthy and merchants, the poll-tax to be taken from them must not exceed twelve Dirhams a head per year (i.e. about 45 cents).

            They shall not be imposed upon by anyone to undertake a journey, or to be forced to go to wars or to carry arms; for the Muslims have to fight for them. Do no dispute or argue with them, but deal according to the verse recorded in the Koran, to wit: ‘Do not dispute or argue with the People of the Book but in that which is best’ [29:46]. Thus they will live favored and protected from everything which may offend them by the Callers to religion (Islam), wherever they may be and in any place they may dwell.

            Should any Christian woman be married to a Musulman, such marriage must not take place except after her consent, and she must not be prevented from going to her church for prayer. Their churches must be honored and they must not be withheld from building churches or repairing convents.

            They must not be forced to carry arms or stones; but the Muslims must protect them and defend them against others. It is positively incumbent upon every one of the Islam nation not to contradict or disobey this oath until the Day of Resurrection and the end of the world.” [2]

            Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Delaware, and founding director of Islamic Studies program, asserts the implications of Prophet Muhammad’s letter, “The first and the final sentence of the charter are critical. They make the promise eternal and universal. Muhammed asserts that Muslims are with Christians near and far, straight away rejecting any future attempts to limit the promise to St. Catherine alone.

            By ordering Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment the charter again undermines any future attempts to revoke the privileges. These rights are inalienable.

            Muhammed declared Christians, all of them, as his allies and he equated ill treatment of Christians with violating God’s covenant.

            A remarkable aspect of the charter is that it imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties!” [3]

            Sincere Muslims revere Prophet Muhammad and abide by his teachings. Therefore, Muslims, namely the ISIS and the likes, who persecute Christians despite the “Achtiname” are disobeying their Prophet.

            Another significant implication of the “Achtiname” is upon the existence of Christian churches in Islamic nations. Islamic nations should not prevent the existence of the Christian church.

            In other words, Christians should be allowed to worship their God in public and in the community of fellow Christians in Islamic nations. Islamic nations should allow Christians to worship without inhibition.

            If Prophet Muhammad had indeed affirmed his support to Christians, there should be an indestructible brotherly relationship between Muslims and Christians, despite the irreconcilable differences in theology.



[2] Ibid.